– Poisoned flow: Fukushima is an American problem – Akio Matsumura

From Akio Matsumara, Finding the Missing Link

December 12, 2017

Fukushima Update

In December 2016, Japan’s government nearly doubled its projections for costs related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster to 21.5 trillion yen ($188 billion), increasing pressure on Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) to step up reform and improve its performance. Less optimistic observers estimate total cleanup costs will end up between $300 billion and $500 billion.

Although 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) in taxpayer money has funded an "ice wall" to keep out groundwater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant site, the frozen barrier may not be meeting hopes and expectations. In theory, the ice wall should serve as a dam to prevent groundwater from the mountainside of the plant from flowing into the reactor buildings.

The groundwater level rose rapidly and the average daily flow of groundwater into the building basements for October was estimated to be 310 tons. That was close to the 400 tons that was flowing into the building basements before any measures were implemented to deal with the contaminated water. - Fukushima “Ice Wall “ Linchpin not living up to high hopes November 26, 2017 by The Asahi Shimbun

One Tepco manager shared the status at the plant in late November 2017:

We’re struggling with four problems: (1) reducing the radiation at the site (2) stopping the influx of groundwater (3) retrieving the spent fuel rods and (4) removing the molten nuclear fuel.

Seven years after the triple meltdown, they do not know what’s going on inside. Nobody knows, nobody can possibly know, which is one of the major risks of nuclear meltdowns. Nobody knows what to do. 

From Fukushima to San Francisco

It is plain to see that the continued flow of water from the nuclear plant extends the problems of Fukushima into the Pacific ocean. Marine life could be at risk. On the West Coast st of North America, children and adults may be affected. (See my previous article.)

The University of Hawaii at Manoa published a report this year, In the Wake of Fukushima: Radiocesium Inventories of Selected North Pacific Fish:

Thirteen commonly consumed types of fish caught in the North Pacific and locally available in Hawaii were analyzed using gamma spectroscopy to measure Fukushima-derived and historic 134 Cs and 137 Cs isotopes. All fish samples had detectable 137 Cs above 95% Confidence Intervals. Three out of the thirteen samples had 134 Cs, an isotope indicative of Fukushima releases, detected above 95% Confidence Intervals. The highest 134 Cs and 137 Cs concentration in the examined species was in ahi tuna carrying 0.10±0.04 Bq/kg and 0.62±0.05 Bq/kg, respectively. Other samples with 134 Cs activities found above their 2-sigma uncertainty were albacore tuna and swordfish.

Five samples showed the Fukushima tracer 134Cs, present above critical levels and at the 68% confidence interval (CI at 1-sigma uncertainty) but only three of those fish exhibited activities above the range of their 2 sigma uncertainty representing 95% CI.

This study suggests that about 40% of fish tested and consumed on the islands of Hawai’i were recently exposed to the path of the Fukushima-derived radiocesium plume in the North Pacific Gyre. Fukushima-derived radio cesium fallout in Hawaiian soils

This study, which shows that fish have come into contact with radiation but have not been affected by it, is the result of only six years of accumulation after the Fukushima nuclear power accident. Given that, as we hear from Tepco, the contaminated water will continue to flow for up to eighty years, we must expect this to get worse. We should prepare from now all possible means to reduce the unavoidable burden that our descendants will face definitely in coming decades when most of this article readers might be in other spiritual world.

Silent Representation

Despite this steady stream of contamination and a host of unknowns, U.S. West Coast politicians have remained silent. Why will they not speak up? I have four thoughts.

  1. Contaminated food and water is bad for business. People in fishing, agriculture, or tourism do not want to consider the unknowns as they consider their budgets.
  2. The military industry thinks of nuclear technologies as linked to defense and security.
  3. Environmentalists and climate change activists focus on nuclear power as a zero-carbon source of electricity.
  4. Some scientists believe that the current level of radiation is no harm to human or fish chain and farm products after seven years of the Fukushima accident. Some nuclear scientists knowingly speak out for the benefit of the government and nuclear industry.

For all of these interest groups, it is in their short term interest to close their eyes and hope that what went into the ocean drops down to the floor and never returns. The one example we do have, however, Chernobyl, provides a perfect example of how radiation takes several years to manifest as cancer and other severe ailments.

The full extent of the damage will not be understood until the fifth generation of descendants.

Most congressmen, governors, and mayors also have an interest in waiting this out if possible. In two to eight years their terms will be up. No voters want to consider potential effects decades from now, so the politician has no incentive to tackle it. I have worked alongside politicians from many countries for 40 years. Above all, we discussed issues of humanity – war, peace, the environment. I admire their talent of understanding people’s mind and their demand for the short term solution through their election.

Developing Deep Leadership: a California-led Solution

The issue of Fukushima and the contaminated water that continues into the Pacific is a question of eternal values. It includes issues of economic growth and health, but also runs much deeper: Who will take responsibility for our planet?

This summer I went to Sacramento to visit Governor Brown. We have known each other for decades. I have always thought of him as a different sort of politician. Who else could I talk to about an issue that might affect life for tens of thousands of years to come? We both agreed that we need a new vision to look at this great environmental issue.

I envision an International Lawmakers Conference. Its aims will be to (1) develop a new type of leadership among elected politicians, (2) determine how we invest now in the field of medicine and (3) build a global mechanism to safely store the 250,000 tons of radioactive waste we have already produced.

In the short term, the International Lawmakers Conference would raise awareness for the ongoing flow of water into the Pacific. This would encourage more scientific studies, attract the attention of politicians and the funds of institutions. Eventually it will help instill a sense of greater values in our leaders. Participants would include federal and state lawmakers, governors, mayors, as well as religious and business leaders, scientists, and representatives from international organizations. The international members of the Nuclear Emergency Action Alliance (NEAA) could play a critical role of expert nuclear guidance.

I do hope some US Congressmen of the West Coast States will stand up and speak out on these serious long-term effect issues for the sake of our descendants and the earth.

In Memory

To end, I would like to remind readers of the heroic mission and sacrifice of the late Yastel Yamada, founder of the Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima. The rationale behind the Skilled Veterans Corps is that even if workers get cancer from the radiation, it may take 20 years to develop, wherein average life expectancy only gives them 12 to 15 years to live anyway. He didn’t believe the young should risk their lives to do work that his group could handle on their own. Mr. Yamada passed away two years ago from cancer, much earlier than he expected after.  His mission to save young lives will be remembered by younger generations who will carry on its mission for their next generations to come.

Read more about the life of Yastel Yamada here.

http://akiomatsumura.com/2017/12/poisoned-flow-fukushima-is-an-american-problem.html

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— “Horror” – All along Canada’s West Coast, mussels are dying of cancer… Bodies are swollen with tumors… Unprecedented contagious cancer spreading from one species to another like a virus (VIDEO)

From ENE News
July 7, 2016

Washington Post, Jun 22, 2016 (emphasis added): All along the western Canadian coast, mussels are dying. Their blobby bodies are swollen by tumors. The blood-like fluid that fills their interiors is clogged with malignant cells. They’re all sick with the same thing: cancer. And it seems to be spreading. For all its harrowing, terrifying damage, the saving grace of cancer has always been that it dies with its host. Its destructive power comes from turning victims’ own cells against them and making them run amok. But when molecular biologist Stephen Goff biopsied these mussels, he found something strange. The tumor cells didn’t have the same DNA as their host. Instead, every mussel was being killed by the same line of cancerous cells, which were jumping from one individual to the next like a virus

National Geographic, Jun 23, 2016: It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.”… “The evidence indicates that the tumor cells themselves are contagious – that they can spread from one clam to another in the ocean,” says biochemist and immunologist Stephen Goff of Columbia University, co-author, along with Michael Metzger of Columbia, of a paper reporting the results in the journal Cell. These mussels are one of four species of mollusks affected. The mussels at Copper Beach in West Vancouver, Canada, are infected with the disease. This week the team reported new findings in the journal Nature. The transmissible cancer has been discovered in… mussels (Mytilus trossulus) in West Vancouver… Mytilus trossulus is the main native intertidal mussel in the northern Pacific. In North America, it’s found from California to Alaska… The cancer, it’s believed, originated in one unfortunate mollusk. It’s astounding, Goff says, that a leukemia that has killed countless clams traces to one incidence of the disease… What will happen in other mollusk species?  Ominously, says Goff, “It’s too soon to know.”

University of British Columbia, Jun 23, 2016: 1st contagious cancer that spreads between species — UBC scientists were involved in research that found the first contagious cancer that can spread between species, CBC News reported. The leukemia-like disease seems to be widespread among shellfish with hinged shells, or bivalves, like clams, mussels and cockles. Environment Canada scientists worked with UBC researchers to collect mussels in West Vancouver and Esquimalt, B.C. and test them for cancer.

CBC News, Jun 22, 2016: Contagious cancers are a scary idea to begin with, but scientists have made some startling new discoveries about them – they are likely more common in nature than originally thought, and some can even spread between species… Mussels living off the coast of British Columbia [are] prone to the contagious cancer… scientists reported Wednesday in Nature… Canadian scientists collected mussels in West Vancouver, above, and Esquimalt, B.C. They then took them back to the lab and screened them for cancer… Sherry worked with Reinisch and scientists at the University of British Columbia to collect mussels in West Vancouver and Esquimalt, B.C. Then they took them back to the lab and screened them for cancer… Samples that tested positive for leukemia were sent to Goff and his postdoctoral researcher Michael Metzger, lead author of the new paper, for genetic analysis. That analysis showed that not all the mussels with leukemia had a contagious cancer – in some cases, the cancer had developed from an individual’s own cells, as is typically the case. But contagious cancers were found in all three species, and were typically clones from a single individual… Stephen Goff, a professor of microbiology at Columbia University who also co-authored the new paper, is interested in finding out what mutations allowed the transmissible cancer to spread to other individuals.

Watch Columbia University’s video here

 

Got KI? Campaign to distribute potassium iodide (KI)

From Beyond Nuclear

Protect you and your family during a nuclear emergency with potassium iodide (KI).

Beyond Nuclear is campaigning to have state and federal authorities adopt the recommendations of the American Thyroid Association’s “Nuclear Radiation and the Thyroid” calling for the pre-distribution and stockpiling of KI in and around Emergency Planning Zones at all U.S. nuclear power plants:

  • 0 to 50 miles            Pre-distribution by direct delivery of KI to all residents
  • 50 to 200 miles        Stockpile KI in schools, hospitals, police and fire stations
  • >200 miles               Make KI available through the HHS National stockpile

Read more on why KI needs to be incorporated more effectively into emergency planning around U.S. nuclear power plants.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Monday
Oct 26 2015

Canada begins direct delivery of KI to residents around Darlington and Pickering

In September 2015, the Canadaian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) began delivering KI directly to the homes of every resident within 10 kilometers of nuclear power plants like Darlington nuclear generating station. Greenpeace Canada wants direct delivery to extend farther beyond this six mile radius. The American Thyroid Association is calling for direct delivery of KI to every resident within 50 miles of U.S. reactors.

– Comparisons with X-rays and CT scans are “meaningless” — Inhaling particles increases radiation exposure by “a factor of a trillion” says expert

From ENE News
March 22, 2011

Hirose Takashi: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and the State of the Media, Asahi NewStar, March 17, 2011:

Translation by Douglas Lummis

… [Interviewer] Yo: Every day the local government is measuring the radioactivity.  All the television stations are saying that while radiation is rising, it is still not high enough to be a danger to health. They compare it to a stomach x-ray, or if it goes up, to a CT scan.  What is the truth of the matter?

Hirose: For example, yesterday.  Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour.  With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means.  All of the information media are at fault here I think.  They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space.  But that’s one millisievert per year.  A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760.  Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose.  You call that safe?  And what media have reported this?  None.  They compare it to a CT scan, which is over in an instant; that has nothing to do with it.  The reason radioactivity can be measured is that radioactive material is escaping.  What is dangerous is when that material enters your body and irradiates it from inside.  These industry-mouthpiece scholars come on TV and what to they say?  They say as you move away the radiation is reduced in inverse ratio to the square of the distance.  I want to say the reverse.  Internal irradiation happens when radioactive material is ingested into the body.  What happens?  Say there is a nuclear particle one meter away from you. You breathe it in, it sticks inside your body; the distance between you and it is now at the micron level. One meter is 1000 millimeters, one micron is one thousandth of a millimeter.  That’s a thousand times a thousand squared.  That’s the real meaning of “inverse ratio of the square of the distance.”  Radiation exposure is increased by a factor of a trillion.  Inhaling even the tiniest particle, that’s the danger.

Yo:  So making comparisons with X-rays and CT scans has no meaning.  Because you can breathe in radioactive material.

Hirose:  That’s right.  When it enters your body, there’s no telling where it will go.  The biggest danger is women, especially pregnant women, and little children.  Now they’re talking about iodine and cesium, but that’s only part of it, they’re not using the proper detection instruments.  What they call monitoring means only measuring the amount of radiation in the air.  Their instruments don’t eat.  What they measure has no connection with the amount of radioactive material. . . .

http://enenews.com/comparisons-with-x-rays-and-ct-scans-meaningless-inhaling-particles-increases-radiation-exposure-by-a-factor-of-a-trillion-says-expert

 

Investigative report on U.S. nuclear weapons complex’s ‘legacy of death on American soil’

Not mentioned in this article is the damaged DNA which is passed down to children and succeeding generations, as well as birth defects. Then there is the radiation brought into their homes by these workers because they are contaminated by working with radioactive substances.
Global Research, December 11, 2015

New investigative reporting from McClatchy has exposed the hidden legacy—and “enormous human cost”—of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, providing “an unprecedented glimpse of the costs of war.”

The reporting, which comes as the nation prepares to upgrade its aging nuclear arsenal to the tune of $1 trillion over the next 30 years, reveals the abundant health and safety risks from radiation exposure at atomic weapons facilities. It’s based on more than 100 interviews at current and former weapons plants and in the towns that surround them, as well as analysis of more than 70 million records in a federal database obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to McClatchy, 107,394 Americans have been diagnosed with cancers and other diseases after building the nation’s nuclear stockpile over the last seven decades. And at least 33,480 former nuclear workers who received compensation from a special fund—created in 2001 for those sickened in the construction of America’s nuclear bombs—are dead.

Declaring that “the great push to win the Cold War has left a legacy of death on American soil,” McClatchy notes that the death toll “is more than four times the number of American casualties in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“Now with the country embarking on an ambitious $1 trillion plan to modernize its nuclear weapons,” the investigation reads, “current workers fear that the government and its contractors have not learned the lessons of the past.”

Among the investigation’s other findings, as per journalists Rob Hotakainen, Lindsay Wise, Frank Matt, and Samantha Ehlinger:

  • Federal officials greatly underestimated how sick the U.S. nuclear workforce would become. At first, the government predicted the program would serve only 3,000 people at an annual cost of $120 million. Fourteen years later, taxpayers have spent sevenfold that estimate, $12 billion, on payouts and medical expenses for more than 53,000 workers.
  • Even with the ballooning costs, fewer than half of those who’ve applied have received any money. Workers complain that they’re often left in bureaucratic limbo, flummoxed by who gets payments, frustrated by long wait times and overwhelmed by paperwork.
  • Despite the cancers and other illnesses among nuclear workers, the government wants to save money by slashing current employees’ health plans, retirement benefits and sick leave.
  • Stronger safety standards have not stopped accidents or day-to-day radiation exposure. More than 186,000 workers have been exposed since 2001, all but ensuring a new generation of claimants. And to date, the government has paid $11 million to 118 workers who began working at nuclear weapons facilities after 2001.

McClatchy produced this short video to accompany its piece:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/special-reports/article49009200.html/video-embed

The new reporting adds fuel to the call for global nuclear disarmament, which reverberated across the world on the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki earlier this year.

“This 70th anniversary should be a time to reflect on the absolute horror of a nuclear detonation,” Ann Suellentrop of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Kansas City said at the time, “yet the new Kansas City Plant is churning out components to extend U.S. nuclear weapons 70 years into the future.”

And along with those components, McClatchy‘s exposé suggests, “more unwanted fallout.”

– Obama approved raising permissible levels of nuclear radiation in drinking water. Civilian cancer deaths expected to skyrocket

PEER — Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — is an exceptional organization. It protects whistleblowers and facilitates the release of government agency documents related to the public welfare and safety. They are heroes, operate on a shoestring budget, and are well worth financially supporting.

This information is from 2013 but very timely. Most people don’t know about this decision.

Global Research, September 19, 2014
Peer.org 14 April 2013
Rollback in Nuclear Radiation Cleanup

by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version given approval late last Friday is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects:

In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period;

  • In water, the PAGs punt on an exact new standard and EPA “continues to seek input on this.” But the thrust of the PAGs is to give on-site authorities much greater “flexibility” in setting aside established limits; and
  • Resolves an internal fight inside EPA between nuclear versus public health specialists in favor of the former. The PAGs are the product of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator is taken up this week by the Senate.
  • Despite the years-long internal fight, this is the first public official display of these guides. This takes place as Japan grapples with these same issues in the two years following its Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then EPA is in for a long, dirty slog,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the EPA package lacks a cogent rationale, is largely impenetrable and hinges on a series of euphemistic “weasel words.”

“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”

Reportedly, the PAGs had been approved last fall but their publication was held until after the presidential election. The rationale for timing their release right before McCarthy’s confirmation hearing is unclear.

Since the PAGs guide agency decision-making and do not formally set standards or repeal statutory requirements, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund, they will go into full effect following a short public comment period. Nonetheless, the PAGs will likely determine what actions take place on the ground in the days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years following a radiological emergency.

Copyright Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) 2014

– Feds cancel nuclear health study, leaving questions for Tennessee plant’s ailing neighbors

Institute for Southern Studies


September 9, 2015

<p class=
The NRC answers questions from the public at a 2009 meeting in Erwin, Tennessee about the Nuclear Fuel Services facility. (NRC photo via Flickr.)

This week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it was canceling a National Academy of Sciences pilot study of cancer risks near U.S. nuclear facilities, citing budget pressures.

The NRC said that “continuing the work was impractical, given the significant amount of time and resources needed and the agency’s current budget constraints.” The NAS estimated that the study would take 39 months and cost $8 million.

Nuclear watchdogs blasted the NRC’s decision, with Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear calling it “outrageous.”

“Study after study in Europe has shown a clear rise in childhood leukemia around operating nuclear power facilities, yet the NRC has decided to hide this vital information from the American public,” said Cindy Folkers, a radiation and health specialist with the group. “An $8 million price tag for the next phase of this study is a drop in the bucket for an agency with a $1 billion annual operating budget.”

Beyond Nuclear raised concerns about industry manipulation, noting that it had obtained documents showing NRC staff had been approached by the president of the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements offering a cheaper, faster and less sensitive study design, which the NRC has not yet agreed to accept. The Council is funded in part by the nuclear industry and has pro-nuclear ties.

The NAS study was to focus on seven facilities, six of them nuclear power plants: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California, Millstone Power Station and Haddam Neck Plant in Connecticut, Dresden Nuclear Power Station in Illinois, Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant in Michigan, and Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey.

The other facility that was to be part of the study is Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee, which produces nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy and processes weapons-grade uranium into fuel for nuclear power plants. Originally built in the 1950s by the W.R. Grace chemical conglomerate and now owned by Virginia-based BWX Technologies, the NFS plant in northeast Tennessee’s Unicoi County has a long history of safety problems. They include a 2006 leak of highly enriched uranium, details of which were withheld from the public.

A 2010 report by a university scientist documented uranium contamination downstream from the plant in the Nolichucky River, which provides drinking water for Tennessee communities including Greeneville, and in Davy Crockett Lake, a recreation site maintained by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Besides being radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal that can impair normal functioning of the kidneys, liver, heart, brain and reproductive system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, long-term chronic intakes of uranium isotopes in food, water, or air can lead to internal irradiation and/or chemical toxicity.

Barbara O’Neal of the Erwin Citizens Awareness Network, a group that’s been critical of NFS, told the Greeneville Sun she suspects the NRC may have pulled the plug on the cancer risk study because the agency didn’t want information it found to be released to the public.

People living near NFS have long raised concerns about cancers and other health problems in their communities. In response, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry conducted a public health assessment in 2007. However, it focused only on volatile organic compound pollution from the facility and not radiation, since the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act that gives ATSDR its authority excludes releases of the kinds of radioactive materials NFS handles.

While preparing its report, ATSDR received comments from concerned plant neighbors (commenters’ names are not included in the report):

I grew up in the big green two-story house which I think is now owned by NFS. When W.R. Grace built “the plant” down where Mrs. Home’s frog pond used to be, we had no idea what was in store. The security and regulations then were few and far between. As kids, we would still go down there and walk around the fence to see the stuff that leaked out of the big tanks. The ground was always wet. When we heard the alarm go off, we ran to the upstairs bedroom to watch the men in white suits run up the hill. Orange smoke came out of the smokestacks. My aunt was a secretary there and one night came and took us away from our house because “something” was about to happen “down at the plant”. Never knew what. I know we ate radiation straight from Mama’s garden. Our beloved little dog died of cancer. My dad died at 56 with colon cancer. Our next door neighbor died of colon cancer; I doubt she was 60. A friend and close neighbor had extensive colon cancer in his early 30’s. I had a huge lymphoma removed from my heart at the age of 30. My brother had kidney failure in his early 30’s. My sister and I both have thyroid nodules and weird protein levels in our blood that can lead to multiple myelosis. These all have to be watched closely. At the age of only 64, I also have an autoimmune disease that makes life difficult. People in Erwin are still brainwashed about NFS. Those that know the truth have died or moved away. My mother died of heart failure at 65. I believe her heart was broken.

Another commenter, a resident of Erwin, offered this account of health woes:

I live on Washington Street and I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I have had several lymph nodes removed due to unexplained fevers, weight loss, lymphadenopathy, etc. My illness developed when I moved to Washington Street. … I worked inside this home doing medical transcription spending all my time there from the time we moved in until approximately a year ago. My health continued to deteriorate during this period of time. I began working outside my home a year ago and I have improved considerably since then. I have been told by many well-educated individuals that there may be something in my home environment that caused by illness. With the continued improvement in my health after getting away from the house during the day … I believe there may be something to this assumption.

And yet another comment from a resident in nearby in North Carolina:

I live in the NC county (Yancey) adjacent to and downwind from Erwin TN. As a (now retired) health care professional, I have observed over many years what appears to be higher than average occurrences per capita of several debilitating diseases here. Multiple sclerosis, various unusual types of cancer, spina bifida, clefting/midline developmental disabilities among others are more prevalent in the local population than would be expected. While nobody is yet able, or willing to point the finger toward the Erwin plant … there is suspicion that airborne products from this facility passing through this area in highest concentration could be a factor in these statistics. Certainly further study is warranted.

In the end, the plant’s neighbors got few answers to questions about their health from ATSDR. It now looks like they won’t be getting answers from the NRC any time soon.